New York, October 2, 2016 – Dutch freelance photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans was killed today in the Libyan city of Sirte while covering clashes between Islamic State fighters and forces loyal to the Libyan Army, according to Dutch and Libyan news outlets.
“Journalists have recently begun returning in greater numbers to Libya to cover the conflict and political upheaval but it remains an extraordinarily dangerous place,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “The death of Jeroen Oerlemans is a reminder that those who bring us images and video from the frontlines often pay the heaviest price.”
According to CPJ research, at least 11 other journalists and 1 media worker have been killed on duty in Libya since 1992, when CPJ began keeping detailed records. All but one of those deaths came since the 2011 uprising.
Oerlemans was kidnapped and held for a week by Islamic extremists in Syria in 2012, along with British photojournalist John Cantlie. Cantlie was kidnapped again in Syria in late 2012, and has since appeared in several Islamic State videos.
A recent photo essay by Oerlemans on the fighting in Sirte was published by deVolkskrant in July 2016.